noun \ˈrē-ə\

Definition of RHEA

:  either of two South American ratite birds (Rhea americana and Pterocnemia pennata of the family Rheidae) that resemble but are smaller than the African ostrich and that have three toes, a fully feathered head and neck, an undeveloped tail, and pale gray to brownish feathers that droop over the rump and back

Illustration of RHEA

Origin of RHEA

New Latin, genus of birds, probably from Latin Rhea, mother of Zeus, from Greek
First Known Use: 1797

Rhymes with RHEA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of two ostrich-like species of South American three-toed ratite birds (family Rheidae). The common rhea (Rhea americana) is about 4 ft (120 cm) tall and weighs about 50 lbs (20 kg). It has luxuriant plumage, brown or gray above and whitish below. Darwin's rhea (Pterocnemia pennata) is smaller and has white-tipped brownish plumage. Rheas live in open country, often among grazing animals, and run from predators. They eat a wide variety of plants and animals. Both species are listed as endangered.


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